What The Colour Of Your Tongue Tells You About Your Health

Your tongue goes through a lot during an average day--from flexing and stretching to digging and curling. It's a pretty fascinating organ that's largely taken for granted given its concealed natureonly ever really being acknowledged after coming into sudden contact with upper teeth by mistake.

In reality, taking more notice of your tongue can actually do wonders for keeping you in good health. Despite its oral location, the tongue actively reacts to other conditions occurring elsewhere in the body, and dentists will often take a patient's tongue tint into account when they perform an ordinary check-up. Particular tongue colours often indicate particular medical conditions, and listed here are what each respective tongue shade might mean for the rest of the body.


A yellow tongue can be caused by all kinds of bacteria lingering in the mouth, and whilst it often tends to ease away after a short period of time, a persistent yellow tongue can actually indicate liver problems.

Jaundice is a condition that turns the skin yellow due to a high presence of bilirubin in the blood. Ordinarily the liver plays a role in transforming bilirubin to bile, but if this organ is damaged, it is unable to do so – leading to the troubling condition of jaundice. Whilst it can turn you yellow all over, jaundice actually begins in the mouth, meaning that a yellow tongue can be the first sign of a damaged liver not doing its job.

Your dentist will be able to determine a lot of information about your liver by taking a good look at your tongue, and it's important to consult a dental practice if you ever begin to see a yellowish shade easing in.


Drinking dark drinks such as red wine and caffeine can cause staining around the teeth -- and the same goes for your tongue too. Anyone who indulges in high amounts of coffee and alcohol may experience a blackness on the tongue developing from time to time, and if this happens it doesn't hurt to see your dentist, like those at Willow West Dental Office Dentures. He/she will examine your teeth to see if they are suffering from the same dark marks, and will conduct a scrape and polish and tongue scrub to get rid of the staining.

Whilst usually benign, black tongue can occasionally indicate something a little more serious like a fungal infection – which in turn may point towards the presence of diabetes. People suffering from unbalanced sugar levels are much more prone to oral fungal infection as their immune system is unable to correctly manage harmful bacteria. Black tongue is a clear symptom of fungal issues, and may come accompanied by bad breath – a further indication that diabetes may be in play.


A purple tongue can be an alarming sight, and given the conditions it has been linked with, it is definitely in your best interest to contact a medical professional if you ever notice this velvet shade developing.

If your dentist spots that your tongue has a purple tinge to it, the first thing they will ask you is if you are aware of your cholesterol levels. A purple coloured tongue is often indicative of poor circulation in the blood and/or high cholesterol levels, which if left untreated can lead to serious heart problems. This particular shade is a tell-tale sign that there is insufficient oxygen flowing around the body, and can also point to other serious conditions such as chronic bronchitis. If your tongue turns purple - get checked out immediately, 


A white tongue can often be dismissed as mild dehydration, but if your dentist sees that you've developed a paler shade on your tongue, they will always take some form of action.

A white tongue can actually be one of the first symptoms of a yeast infection being present in the body, most commonly oral thrush. The pale colour is caused by the coating of dead cells and debris forming on the tongue's surface, which may also be a sign that the lining of the mouth is shedding too many cells. In this case, leukoplakia may be in play; a condition that needs immediate attention given the fact that it can become malignant in rare cases.